Thursday, February 16, 2012
Tuesday May 11, 2010
Camp 10: Gila Wilderness near Jordan Hot Spring
Ahh...we're back on the trail. We had a lovely hitch from a woman named Alice that reminded us all to well of Elizabeth Stoner, (an unforgettable woman we took on a tour in Yosemite). She skidded to a stop right in the middle of the road, rolled the window down and yelled, “Is that a thumb out?” She was a crazy fast driver on the winding mountain roads, braking really hard for squirrels. She was probably in her 60's and visiting from Arizona. Alice had a laugh that brought a smile to my face, her mood, infectious. I'm so glad our paths crossed, there are some really great people in this incredibly large world. We visited the Gila Cliff Dwellings today which was so interesting. We were able to explore some of the “rooms”, traveling back in time to a very different way of life. The age of hunters and gatherer's where every person had a role and it took every set of hands contributing to their survival. Incredible, really. We met our first thru-hikers today; Handlebar and Voyageur. We actually met Voyageur on the PCT on top of Mount Whitney so it was really fun to see him again. We took Little Bear Canyon to the Middlefork of the Gila. The Little Bear Trail ended in a slot canyon with rust colored rocks towering above us. The river is flowing fairly high from the spring run-off and we had to ford it 16 times today. We encountered another rattlesnake who was none too happy to see us. He was immediately in strike mode, hissing and rattling as we stood and watched from afar. Toward the end of the day we found Jordan Hot Springs which felt great on the frozen feet. We had tortilla soup and a little Jameson for dinner, dried out our feet, wet shoes and socks. It is so nice to be back in the woods, the smell of the pines and the sound of the river flowing right beside us. We have seen big elk tracks by the water and we are in Mexican Wolf country, which is fun! There are coyote, fox, mountain lion, bear and tons of birds inhabiting the Gila...hope we see some wildlife, soon.